British retail chain Marks & Spencer, which also has stores in Malta, says it’s seen another drop in its sales and profits figures. According to the company, its pre-tax profits were down by almost 10 per cent to €594 million in the year ending March 31.
Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new stores, were down by 2.9 per cent for the group as a whole.
Delivering the news CEO Steve Rowe said M&S said the dip is being caused by the retailer’s restructure. It’s now part of the way though a big store closure programme, which is affecting its 1,043 stores. sales in its food halls fell by 2.3 per cent, although M&S said this was affected by the timing of Easter. Clothing and home sales were 1.6 per cent lower, dented by the timing of Easter and poor stock availability, while UK like-for-like sales were down by 2 per cent. Total sales were 3.6 per cent lower because of the store closures.
Mr Rowe said: "We are deep into the first phase of our transformation programme and continue to make good progress restoring the basics and fixing many of the legacy issues we face.
"At this stage, we are judging ourselves as much by the pace of change as by the trading outcomes and change will accelerate in the year ahead."
However, he added that although there had been "green shoots", the retailer had "not been consistent in our delivery" in several areas.
"M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career - substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations - and this has constrained this year's performance, particularly in clothing and home.
"However, we remain on track with our transformation and are now well on the road to making M&S special again."